The HIV/AIDS Control activities in Goa, commenced way back in 1984 with surveillance done amongst High Risk Groups. The Health Education Bureau at Directorate of Health Services was the Nodal Agency for all the Programme Activities. In 1986-87, when first HIV case came to light, the STD Control Programme at the Directorate of Health Services coordinated all the activities, which finally led to the creation of AIDS Cell at the Directorate of Health Services. As the HIV/AIDS turned out to be a major Public Health Problem in Goa, in order to take multi pronged interventions, the Goa State AIDS Control Society was created and got registered in 1997 to function under guidelines of the National AIDS Control Organization, keeping in view the national pattern. The National AIDS Control Organization and the Goa State AIDS Control Society are the wings of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at Government of India and at side level respectively. Today Goa State AIDS Control Society is functioning under the present Project Director Dr. Jeremy Dias, monitored by the Executive Body under Chairmanship of Secretary (Health), Government of Goa.
Goa is a tiny state on the west coast with a total population of about 14 lakhs surrounded by high HIV prevalent states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. Since the first case of HIV/AIDS detected in Goa in 1987, there has been a steady rise in the reported number of HIV/AIDS cases. The epidemic has crossed over from high-risk groups to general population, from urban to rural areas and from adults to children. HIV is now prevalent in all parts of Goa and almost two-thirds of the cases are reported from the four coastal talukas of Goa. HIV infection in women is rising. Out of every three cases detected one is a female. Sexual route is predominant mode of transmission being more than 90%. Goa has been classified as a moderate prevalent state based on the sentinel survey data. The estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases in Goa is around 12,000.
Goa has always been in the forefront in combating HIV/AIDS. GSACS over the last few years had initiated various measures and also developed certain infrastructure facilities/ services for the control and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
The Phase-III (2007-12) of AIDS Control Programme will no doubt build on the strengths developed, lessons learnt, gaps identified and experiences gained in the previous two phases of NACP, and consolidate the achievements. However, HIV can no more be the sole agenda of one organisation or department.